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Rest in peace Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby Robson

After a long battle with cancer Sir Bobby Robson passed away on Friday at the age of 76. Since then the tributes have poured in from all the over the world. We have tried to collect some of them below and would like to encourage you to add your own in the comments at the bottom after the jump.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson -

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"I was never too big or proud to ask him for advice which he gave freely and unconditionally. And I'm sure I am speaking for a lot of people when I say that.

"In my 23 years working in England there is not a person I would put an inch above Bobby Robson. I mourn the passing of a great friend, a wonderful individual, a tremendous football man and somebody with passion and knowledge of the game that was unsurpassed.

"His character was hewn out of the coal face, developed by the Durham mining background that he came from. His parents instilled in him the discipline and standards which forged the character of a genuinely colossal human being. He added his own qualities to that which then he passed on to his sons.

"The strength and courage he showed over the past couple of years when battling against his fifth bout of cancer was indescribable. Always a smile, always a friendly word with never a mention of his own problems.

"The world, not just the football world, will miss him. Let's hope it won't be long before another like him turns up because we could never get enough of them."


Jose Mourinho -

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"It is difficult to accept such a person is no longer with us - but he is immortal because he leaves in everybody who knows him a mark of his personality - a great coach but, more than that, a great person.

"I hadn't spoken to him in the last two months because it was hard for me. It was me who found it hard because I didn't want to think that he was dying, that wasn't the image that I wanted to keep with me forever of Bobby Robson, that wasn't the voice I wanted to hear.

"I wanted to and I will keep with me always the Bobby Robson of every day, a person who had extraordinary passion for life and for football, with an extraordinary enthusiasm.

"Bobby Robson is one of those people who never die, not so much for what he did in his career, for one victory more or less, but for what he knew to give to those who had, like me, the good fortune to know him and walk by his side.

"My thoughts and embraces go to all his loved ones."


Paul Gascoigne -

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"I'm speechless. I'm devastated. Bobby was like my second dad. I was like a son to him.

"I can't describe how much he meant to me. I've just been crying for three hours, and I've come to see my mum and my dad. It's just unbelievable.

"He gave me a chance to play in the World Cup. I can't really talk that much because I just want to cry, that's all.

"I love him. And his wife Elsie - I'll always be there for her. I'm sort of numb. He kept himself alive for the game and I thought after the game he might pass away… I’m emotionally drained. I want to go up and see his wife Elsie but it’s a difficult situation for everyone. I’m going to miss him so badly.."


George Burley -

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"It was a big decision for me and my parents to make such a long journey at that age," said Burley, who played under Robson after leaving his home in Ayrshire to join Ipswich as a 15-year-old.

"But Sir Bobby was like a father to me, taking a personal interest in me right from the start, always checking whether I was happy. His support and enthusiasm was the perfect cure for homesickness and helped my career to get off the ground and thrive.

"I'll never forget when in 1973, the day before we played Manchester United at Old Trafford, he took me to one side and told me I would be making my first-team debut. I was 17 and the player I had to mark just happened to be George Best.

"My parents came down from Scotland to watch the game and I remember him getting off the team bus and presenting them with two directors' box tickets. We lost 3-0 but Sir Bobby was magnificent, telling me how well I'd played. It did wonders for my confidence.

"I went on to play over 500 games for Ipswich in a side that drew inspiration from its manager. From 1972 we qualified for European competitions nine out of 10 years which was remarkable considering the size of our squad and our standing as a small-town club.

"That was all down to his man-management, tactics and judgement. No finer example of that was when, after we won the FA Cup, he sold Brian Talbot to Arsenal for £450,000 and spent less than that to bring in that fabulous Dutch pair Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen.

"I could not possibly get my head round how my career would have gone had it not been for Sir Bobby Robson.
I owe him everything and I only hope I can be guided by the example he showed me."


Fabio Capello -
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"Sir Bobby was a wonderful man, a real gentleman. I remember very well the times I managed my teams against him.

"The first time being when Bobby was manager of Barcelona and I was in my first season with Real Madrid. Later, when he was Newcastle manager and I was with Roma we faced each other - as opponents, but always friends.

"Of course, I recall Bobby as a manager with Ipswich, but more so with England. To manage the national team for so long was a remarkable achievement, and we all remember how close he came to leading England to the World Cup Final in Italy.

"He went on to enjoy success with PSV Eindhoven, Porto, Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona before returning to 'home' with Newcastle.

"Earlier this year I spent some time with Bobby when he opened the new cancer treatment centre, for which he worked so hard to raise funds. He was a fantastic man, and loved by so many people. His spirit and courage was incredible. To fight cancer so many times really showed the strength of the man.

"All the time we spoke over a cup of coffee with his close family, his passion for football shone through.

"He loved the game and was extremely proud of his country and the North East region.

"I also recall the tribute dinner the LMA [League Managers' Association] hosted for Bobby when he wasn't planning to say more than a few words. In the end he stayed on the stage for a very long time, telling story after story, much to everyone's amusement.

"It's extremely sad that Sir Bobby has lost his final fight against cancer, but he will never be forgotten. He really was a great man."


Sven Goran Erikson -svensirbobbyrobson.jpg

391px-quotation_marks.svg.png"First of all he was beyond football a great man, one of the kindest people I ever met.

"He helped me a great deal when I was a young coach and I visited him in Ipswich. He took me, an unknown coach from Sweden, down into the dug-out and explained the tactics.

"The year after Ipswich won the Uefa Cup, my team Gothenburg won it and he came and presented the trophy to me.

"When I became coach of England I called him many times and he was always generous with his advice and helpful.

"It seems he was as friendly to everybody as he was to me. In fact for me, he was the special one."

 

 


 

 

Gary Lineker -

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"The main memory we always shared was 1990," Lineker said yesterday. "How close we were to winning the World Cup. I've spoken to Bobby about this and he felt the same as I do. It's the one thing, looking back, that I've got a tinge of disappointment about. We were on the brink of getting to the final and I think if we had got there, we would have been strong favourites. I had this conversation with him once or twice. I remember the frustration, getting that close."

"I've never met anyone more enthusiastic about the game, and I think that was one of his great strengths. That's why he kept going for such a long time, and one of the reasons why he was genuinely popular. He was certainly popular with the players. He got the maximum from everyone who played for him, which his record proves. He did amazingly well with Ipswich and England, was a success in Europe and he did a decent job with Newcastle, as they probably realise now.

The last time I saw him was a few months ago at a Newcastle game. He was frail then, but he sort of brushed it off, as he did. He'd just keep fighting it. He wasn't a man just to sit around and do nothing. After football, he started the Bobby Robson Foundation and the charity then became his driving force.

"What we're seeing from the reaction to the news is that Bobby managed to create a special bond with the public. He had such success as a manager, and as a player before that, but he was just such a likeable guy, a family man. It was his enthusiasm and his passion that came through. It's the combination of all those things that made him so hugely popular.

"When I look back at my time with England, it's a special thing, playing for your country. To play for a manager like that – who was so loyal, and gave you so many opportunities – makes you feel hugely grateful and lucky. Privileged, really, to have played for one of the greats."


Alan Shearer -

 

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"I will always remember him being a great, great man - not only for football.

"For me as an individual, he saved my career at Newcastle. Before he arrived I wasn't playing my football - I wasn't scoring and wasn't playing with a smile on my face and he came in and changed that all around.

It was the way he man-managed players - he had a knack of getting on with them and getting the best out of them - the experienced and younger players.

He knew what to do with me and how to deal with the team - but he kept us in the top flight and then got us into Europe.

"Whatever he did - whether it was football or in the last few years with charity raising millions of pounds - he put his heart and soul into it. He had great passion for whatever he did - he always worked hard at it and was always a success.

We'll all miss him tremendously. He had such huge presence, a huge voice and you've seen that by the reaction at the game he was at on Sunday at St James' Park.

There was a great turn-out from the fans but also the players - they came from all over the world. They got on the plane because of one man.

"I'm sure there is a long list of people speaking very highly about him and rightly so, but you could go round and speak to anybody and nobody will have a bad word to say about him. You can't say that about too many people.

"Let's not forgot he fought this disease four or five times and it was only because of his age that it all caught up with him. But he gave it one hell of a fight. What a man he was."

Source: BBC, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph

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